How to Free Up Memory on Mac

Welcome to this informative article on how to free up memory on your Mac. If you have been experiencing a sluggish or slow performance on your Mac, it may be an indication that your device has run out of memory space. A lack of free memory space can affect your computer’s performance significantly, making it harder to run functions and slowing down tasks. However, do not despair! With the following tips, you can free up memory on your Mac and improve your computer’s overall performance.


Step 1: Check your Storage Disk

Before you start freeing up space on your Mac, take the time to assess your current storage to determine how much space you need to free up. Here’s how to check your storage:

Go to the Apple menu and click on “About this Mac.”

Click on the “Storage” tab to see how much space is being taken up by applications, music, photos, documents and other data.

Step 2: Uninstall Unused Applications

Unused applications can take up unnecessary space on your Mac, causing your system to slow down. Uninstalling applications you no longer use can help in freeing up memory space. You can uninstall applications by:

Dragging and dropping the application into the trash.

Using an uninstaller program designed to remove the application entirely from your Mac.

Step 3: Remove Duplicate Files

Duplicate files can quickly accumulate on your Mac and take up unnecessary storage space. To remove duplicates, you can:

Manually delete duplicates by searching for files with similar names and content then deleting them.

Use third-party software like Gemini 2 to automatically locate and delete duplicate files.

Step 4: Clear Caches and Temporary Files

Macintosh stores temporary files and system caches to make the computer function more efficiently. However, these caches can accumulate over time and take up unnecessary space. To clear cache and temporary files:

Go to Finder and press Command + Shift + G

Enter “~/Library/Caches/” and click “Go”

Select all folders inside and them to the trash bin.

Step 5: Empty Trash Bin

One of the easiest ways to free up space on your Mac is to empty the trash bin regularly. Here’s how to do it:

Go to the trash can icon on the dock and click on it.

Click the “Empty” button to remove all items that have been sent to the trash.

Step 6: Use Optimized Storage

Optimized storage helps free up space on your Mac by automatically clearing space when needed. It works by moving old and rarely used files to iCloud, leaving only the most recent files on your Mac. To enable optimized storage:

Go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage, then click on “Manage.”

Click on “Optimize Storage” then select “Store in iCloud.”

Step 7: Reduce Downloads

Downloads from the internet take up significant storage space. To reduce downloads stored on your Mac:

Go to “System Preferences” > “General” and turn on “Remove download list items.”

Make it a routine to regularly remove downloads.

Step 8: Delete Old Files

Deleting old files such as pictures and videos can help reduce memory usage.

Search for old files by going to the Finder and opening a folder that could have old files like Downloads.

Sort files by date and delete old ones that you don’t need.

Step 9: Disable Auto-start apps

Auto-start apps can use up unnecessary memory and slow down your Mac. To disable auto-start apps:

Click on “System Preferences” > “Users and Groups”

Select your username and click on “Login items.”

Select the application you don’t need to open automatically and click on the “-” sign.

Step 10: Clear Out Your Email

Emails, whether personal or work, can take up space on your Mac. To clear email:

Delete unnecessary emails that you don’t need anymore.

Remove attachments that you have downloaded.

Step 11: Check for Malware or Viruses

Malware or viruses can cause your Mac to run slowly or even crash. To avoid this:

Install antivirus software that can scan and protect your Mac from any potential threats.

Keep the software updated to ensure the best protection.

Step 12: Reset Your Mac

If everything else fails, you can reset your Mac and start afresh.

Ensure you have a backup of all your important files.

Go to “Settings” > “Security & Privacy” > “General” and click on “Restore from change.”


Now that we’ve discussed the 12 steps to free up memory on your Mac, let’s go over some explanations.

The reason why your Mac is running slowly is because it runs out of storage/memory. This is because all of the files that are saved on your Mac, whether important or unimportant, use a portion of your Mac’s memory/storage.

Manually deleting the things that you don’t need is the most effective technique, as this gives you a chance to choose what is most critical to keep. If your Mac is still slow after trying all of these techniques, consider using the cloud or buying external storage to help free up space.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Regularly Check Storage

Checking your Mac’s storage regularly helps you understand what is taking up the most storage and what you should delete.

Tip 2: Use Cloud Storage

Using iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive can help you store photos, videos and other documents.

Tip 3: Use External Storage

Consider purchasing an external hard drive to store large files such as videos, which tend to take up more room.

Tip 4: Use Streaming Services

Streaming services like Apple Music and Netflix allow you to listen to music or watch movies without downloading them directly to your Mac.

Tip 5: Keep Your Mac Clean

Clean your Mac regularly to keep it free of dust and debris. This ensures optimal performance and a longer lifespan.

Tip 6: Use Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a built-in tool that helps you repair disk permissions and check your disks for errors.

Tip 7: Avoid Large Files

Avoid saving large files such as videos and photos directly to your Mac. Use cloud-based storage options instead.

Tip 8: Use Keyboard Shortcut Commands

Use keyboard shortcut commands to speed up actions such as closing applications or emptying the trash.

Tip 9: Remove Language Files

Some applications have language files that you might not use. Deleting them can free up space on your Mac.

Tip 10: Have a Backup Plan

Always have a backup plan for your data in case your Mac crashes or fails.

In conclusion, freeing up memory on your Mac can make a significant difference in performance. When you have extra space, your computer will run faster, allowing you to complete tasks more efficiently. By following these steps and tips, you can free up memory space and improve your Mac’s overall performance in no time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Freeing up Memory on Mac

Mac users often face the problem of low memory space, which can affect the performance of their device. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of freeing up memory on Mac:


  1. Improved Performance: Freeing up memory on Mac can improve the overall performance of your device. It can speed up tasks and make your Mac run smoother.

  2. Increased Storage: By making more space on your device, you can store more files, photos, and documents without having to use external storage devices.

  3. Better Multitasking: Freeing up memory on Mac can enable you to run multiple apps and tasks at once without lagging or crashing.

  4. Reduced Crashes: A memory-full Mac may experience more crashes and freezes. Freeing up memory can reduce these occurrences.

  5. Longer Lifespan: A well-maintained Mac can last longer. Freeing up memory can help maintain your device by prolonging its life.

  6. Free: You don’t have to buy new hardware or software to free up memory on Mac. It’s a cost-effective solution that can benefit your device in various ways.

  7. Easy to Do: Freeing up memory on Mac is a straightforward process that can be done without technical knowledge and by following a few simple steps.

  8. Space for New Apps: By freeing up memory, you can make space for new apps or software updates that require more memory space.

  9. Improved System Stability: Freeing up memory can stabilize your Mac system by preventing crashes and preserving the integrity of the system.

  10. Improved Battery Life: A memory-full Mac may consume more battery power, leading to poor battery performance. Freeing up memory can improve battery life and allow you to use your Mac for more extended periods.


  1. Deletion of Important Files: When freeing up memory, you may accidentally delete important files or documents if you’re not careful. Always back up your data before performing any cleanup.

  2. Requires Time and Effort: Freeing up memory on a Mac can take time and effort, especially if you have several unused files and apps to delete. It may require you to go through several steps to free up significant memory space on your device.

  3. Limitations: Freeware that frees up memory may have limitations in terms of how much space they can free up. You may need to use premium software to free up more memory space.

  4. Risk of Damaging Your System: Making changes to your system can be risky and may lead to unintentional damage to your device. Always exercise caution and follow the instructions carefully.

  5. May Affect Performance of Other Programs: Freeware that frees up memory may affect the performance of other programs, leading to crashes or other issues.

  6. Sensitive Information May be Lost: If you do not carefully remove sensitive information before freeing up memory, it could be lost, damaged, or even fall into the wrong hands.

  7. Does Not Always Solve the Problem: Freeing up memory is not a solution to all performance-related problems. Other factors such as software glitches, outdated hardware, or compatibility issues may still affect your Mac’s performance even after freeing up memory.

  8. May Cause Inconvenience: Freeing up memory may require you to close apps, restart your device, and perform other tasks that can be inconvenient and disrupt your work.

  9. No Guarantee of Improved Performance: Even after freeing up memory, there is no guarantee that your Mac’s performance will improve. You may need to perform additional steps or invest in new hardware to get the desired results.

  10. Requires Periodic Maintenance: Freeing up memory is not a one-time solution. You may need to perform periodic maintenance to keep your Mac running smoothly and efficiently.


1. Why does my Mac run out of memory?

There can be several reasons for this like having too many open applications, not clearing caches regularly, or having large files on your system.

2. How do I check my Mac’s memory usage?

Click on the Apple Menu and go to ‘About This Mac’. Then click on the ‘Memory’ tab to see your Mac’s memory usage.

3. What is the first step to free up memory on my Mac?

You can start by closing all the apps that are not in use currently.

4. Can I clear the cache on my Mac?

Yes, you can do it by clearing the browser caches, system caches, and application caches from settings or using third-party apps.

5. What is the impact of clearing caches on my Mac?

Clearing caches can result in a slight drop in performance initially but eventually, it will improve the Mac’s speed and prevent it from running out of memory.

6. How can I check the size of application files on my Mac?

You can go to the ‘Applications’ folder and check the size of each application there.

7. Can I delete large files to free up space on my Mac?

Yes, deleting large files that are not essential can free up space and prevent your Mac from running out of memory.

8. What is the significance of cleaning the desktop on a Mac?

Cleaning the desktop can improve the Mac’s memory usage as it frees up the resources that are used by desktop icons, especially if there are a large number of files there.

9. How can I remove unnecessary login items?

You can go to ‘System Preferences’, click on ‘Users & Groups’ and then select ‘Login Items’ to remove unnecessary items from the list.

10. Can deleting duplicate files help in freeing up memory?

Yes, deleting duplicate files can free up space and reduce the load on your Mac’s memory.

11. How can I efficiently manage my Mac’s memory on a day-to-day basis?

You can start by keeping only necessary applications and files on your Mac, clearing caches and deleting temporary files regularly, and monitoring your memory usage.

12. Can increasing the RAM in my Mac improve its memory performance?

Yes, upgrading the RAM on the Mac can significantly improve its memory performance.

13. What is the ideal memory usage level for a Mac?

It is recommended to keep at least 10% to 15% of free memory available on your Mac at all times to ensure its smooth performance.

How to Free Up Memory on Mac

Mac users know the struggle of running out of memory, especially if they have been using their device for a while. The longer you use your Mac, the more cluttered and packed it gets with files, applications, and other data. This, in turn, can lead to sluggish performance and reduced productivity. In this article, we are going to discuss how to free up memory on Mac and get your device back in top shape.

Conclusion and Closing

As you can see, freeing up memory on your Mac is not as complex as it seems. By following the above steps and implementing them regularly, you can keep your device in optimal condition and ensure that it runs smoothly for years to come. Remember to regularly clean up your device, uninstall unnecessary apps, clear out caches and temp files, and delete large files that you no longer need. These simple practices can help you free up space, declutter your system, and boost performance significantly. So, go ahead and try them out today!

With that said, we hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with useful tips and tricks on how to free up memory on your Mac. If you have any other suggestions or recommendations, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

Lastly, we want to thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope that it has been informative and useful in solving any memory-related issues you may have been facing on your Mac. Until next time, take care!